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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31823d86f2
Original Articles

Poultry Processing Work and Respiratory Health of Latino Men and Women in North Carolina

Mirabelli, Maria C. PhD, MPH; Chatterjee, Arjun B. MD, MS; Arcury, Thomas A. PhD; Mora, Dana C. MPH; Blocker, Jill N. MS; Grzywacz, Joseph G. PhD; Chen, Haiying PhD; Marín, Antonio J. MA; Schulz, Mark R. PhD; Quandt, Sara A. PhD

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Abstract

Objective: To evaluate associations between poultry processing work and respiratory health among working Latino men and women in North Carolina.

Methods: Between May 2009 and November 2010, 402 poultry processing workers and 339 workers in a comparison population completed interviewer-administered questionnaires. Of these participants, 279 poultry processing workers and 222 workers in the comparison population also completed spirometry testing to provide measurements of forced expiratory volume in 1 second and forced vital capacity.

Results: Nine percent of poultry processing workers and 10% of workers in the comparison population reported current asthma. Relative to the comparison population, adjusted mean forced expiratory volume in 1 second and forced vital capacity were lower in the poultry processing population, particularly among men who reported sanitation job activities.

Conclusions: Despite the low prevalence of respiratory symptoms reported, poultry processing work may affect lung function.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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